Every Samsung Flagship galaxy smartphone has come with a galaxy note companion launching at the same price level. Samsung Galaxy S II launched at around Kshs. 60,000 at the same price level that its companion note, Samsung Galaxy Note, that we nowadays refer to as Samsung Galaxy Note I, launched at later the same year. When Samsung Galaxy S III came, it was introduced to us at Kshs. 60,000 but it’s note companion, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, was launched at Kshs. 61,000. This year Samsung introduce the Galaxy S IV in the market at Kshs. 65,000 and since September it has been launching the Samsung Galaxy Note III across the world. Today the Galaxy Note III was launched in Kenya but its price is a whooping Kshs. 14,000 more than the Galaxy S IV launch price. Comparing the Notes vs. the S-es mates across the years, there seem to be a possibility that the price difference between the S IV and Note III is way too high.
The high price of Note III has elicited some interesting comments from tweeps and here are some of my favorites from #GalaxyNote3KE trending topic:
#GalaxyNote3KE ati 79,000/= ‘only’. Si ni afadhali ninunue Vitz nusu?!
— Francis Chuma (@FrancisChuma) October 11, 2013
Does the 80k price for the #GalaxyNote3KE include the wife toilet house and kids?
— mtu pombe anaogopa (@MtuPombe) October 11, 2013
#GalaxyNote3KE unaweka credo ya thao,ukijaribu kucall msee bado ule dame wa safcom anakuambia ‘Sorry you have insufficient funds…’
— VSOP_Not Martell (@gambinomaxi) October 11, 2013
Phone for 80k?? it better have a smart battery, a kitchen, a toilet, a washroom, a fridge and yeah it has to cook for me. #GalaxyNote3KE
— Guru Don (@Czla_Don) October 11, 2013
But don’t rush to conclude that the Note III is over priced by Kshs. 14,000. Part of the pricing difference is the governments VAT tax. So how much should Note III cost if the pricing trend across the years is to be borrowed? The launch price difference between S II and Note I was Kshs. 0. The launch price difference between S III and Note II was Kshs. 1,000. This arithmetic series suggests that the launch price difference between S IV and Note III should be Kshs. 2,000 hence the launch price for Galaxy Note III should be Kshs 67,000.
So without VAT Samsung Galaxy Note III ought to have been launched at Kshs. 67,000. The difference between that and the actual launch price of Kshs. 79,000 is still a whooping Kshs. 12,000. Well, calculating 16% VAT on Kshs. 67,000 gives us Kshs. 10,720 that everyone who buys the Galaxy Note III will give the government. So if we round off this figure to the next thousand then Samsung ought to sell at Kshs. 78,000, meaning Samsung still thinks that Galaxy Note III is worth Kshs. 1,000 more than the expected price.
Are the features improved on Note III worth the difference compared with Note II vs Note II and Note I?
Well from Note I to Note II Samsung increased the height of the phone but reduced the width and still managed to increase the screen size from 5.3 inches to 5.5 inches. However from Note II to Note III Samsung has managed to basically retain the physical size of the phone but increased the screen size from 5.5 inches to 5.7 inches. Screen resolution vs density has increased from 800 x 1280 pixels (285ppi) in Note I to 720 x 1280 pixels (267ppi) in Note II to 1080 x 1920 pixels (386 ppi) in the Note III.
Camera remained almost the same from Note to Note II though Note’s Camera was slightly better. Notes III’s Camera has been imporved from the 8MP to 13MP making it much better compared to the two. On processor we have been moved from Xynos 1.4Ghz Duo core in Note to Xynos Quad core clocking 1.6Ghz in Note II and now to Qualcom Snapdragon 800 integrated with Xynos 5 Octa core with 2.3Ghz and 1.9Ghz respectively. Here we are also talking about increased RAM all the way from 1GB to 2GB to 3GB in same order. We also talking about single window to Multi-window capability in Note II to true Multi-tasking in Note III. Note III also offers some cool features that we had discussed in this earlier post of S Pen sets Note 3 apart.
Well, I would also say that the leather like back cover in Note III makes the phone a little more premium than the predecessor. Given these hardware improvement and the premium feel of Note III, I would comfortably pay Kshs 70,000 for the Note III if the government did not charge the VAT. So yes, Kshs. 79,000 is a good bargain as we also need to be patriotic and satisfy the government’s thirst for more money.